Happy Friday (night) to you all! Can I just say I am way too surprised at how fast this week flew by? Before we know it, we’ll be walking out of our apartments wearing leggings under our jeans, a parka on top of a fleece and wishing we had a portable campfire with us. I headed to work this morning with an umbrella in hand and ended up walking home tonight with the sun shining and my Snapchat temperature at 67º. My kinda weather! Even when it’s raining I’m happy. Yeah I’m that weirdo. I love my sunshine but not when it’s in the form of a heat wave like last weekend was.
When I started this week off after the most relaxing Labor Day weekend, I thought it would be grueling and miserable. But to tell you the truth, it was the complete opposite. I am realizing that as much as I think I might love having tons of free time, I actually prefer when my days are 12 hours long and I leave my apartment at 8a.m. and come home at 8 or 9p.m. Sounds crazy I’m sure but it is so much easier to sleep, I snack throughout the day and by the time I come home to make dinner, I am so relaxed from exhaustion that I enjoy my meal and then hit my pillow within minutes.
After the chaos and madness of starting an internship this week at a PR firm downtown, having a very exciting meeting with one of my FAVORITE brands (Simple Mills) yesterday and finally running out of cold brew and going back to the tea game, I’m now ready to show you off my friday favorites for the second week of September!
When I left my internship Wednesday, I had about an hour of time to kill before I headed to work. I was dying to get another cup of coffee but knew I should hold out and get tea or a juice instead. I ended up heading over to Kitchfix, one of my favorite chef-prepared delivery meal services, which opened up a storefront a few weeks ago off of the Clark/Division red line stop. It’s filled with organic juices, quinoa bowls, roasted sweet potatoes, homemade guacamole and LATTES!
What sets the drink menu at Kitchfix apart from others is their ingredient list. They use cold brewed coffee, sweeten their drinks with coconut sugar, raw honey and dates, and even add organic coconut oil to their lattes. This matcha latte ($5 for a small, $6 for the larger size) is normally ordered hot but because I ordered it iced, it ended up making more than expected… so much more that the workers ended up giving me THREE lattes! I won the latte lottery and I couldn’t complain. The beverage was a blend of organic coconut oil, raw honey, matcha powder and organic coconut milk. Suuuuper yum.
Following along on the topic of all things sweet, I whipped up these vegan cocoa krispie cookie dough no-bake bites (longest title ever) earlier this week. Based right off of my good friend May’s Coconut Chocolate Chip Goji Berry Cookie Dough Bites, I swapped regular brown rice cereal for One Degree Organic Foods’ sprouted brown rice cacao crisps, almond flour for almond meal and almond butter for Rawmio’s Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough spread. Yes, it was as heavenly as it sounds!
The whole time I made these, I was snap chatting May telling her how excited I was… how as I rolled them they turned out a bit crumbly… how I probably should have used fresh almond flour AND creamy almond butter instead of an old bag of almond meal and half frozen cookie dough spread. Snapchat updates are the best kinds.
But hey, sometimes ya gotta swap ingredients to try new things! Unfortunately because of the texture I was unable to roll them in goji berries, coconut or chocolate chips but after 12+ hours in the freezer, these were AMAZING. More flour-like rather than doughy but the perfect after-dinner treat. One or two bites at a time and I was hooked. Although May’s recipe yields 12, my substitutions and such resulted in about 15-16 mini balls.
I threw one on a smoothie bowl tonight which I can’t WAIT to share with you because I’m convinced it was one of the finest smoothie bowls to date. Be on the lookout for that! (Secret: it involves a lot of blueberries and raw cacao powder).
Speaking of smoothie bowls, what better way to top your smoothie bowl than with added crunch, texture and color? Whenever I’m running low on creative smoothie bowl toppings, I end up with sliced strawberries and some chia seeds. Really exciting… Not. Coming from the perspective of a fellow food blog reader, I know one is more intrigued by those bowls with super foods and granolas with depth and high nutritional value vs. one with two “basic” toppings. Sometimes those cheap chia seeds just won’t cut it!
I’ll admit it’s been a while since I’ve invested in mulberries, goji berries, coconut chips or anything of that sort. When Essential Living Foods delivered me their organic, raw and premium superfood mixtures, my jaw fell to the floor. Mulberries and super foods to me are like skittles to a little kid in a candy store. It’s all they think about and wish they could get their hands on but their parents always tell them no. Kind of a similar situation with me, except my bank account is the one telling me no. Thankfully, Essential Living Foods came to the rescue and treated me with some of nature’s best candy!
I threw some of the mulberries in my oatmeal this morning topped with chia seed peanut butter ($3 at Trader Joe’s), an organic apple and some granola. All the feels.
Aesthetic is everything, especially when it comes to what millennials appreciate in the food scene these days. If I walk into a coffee shop and their color scheme involves black and white with wooden panels, I’m immediately sucked in. On my way to class yesterday, I stopped in to Café Integral in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. A perk of this somewhat new café is that you can get any coffee drink under $5 AND an avocado toast if you are a PopularPays user (and you have more than a certain amount of followers). If you’re unfamiliar with the application, this means you get avocado toast FOR FREE. With the swipe of your finger. *Insert long sigh* I love technology.
Not only does Café Integral offer a wide array of coffee options but as you can see, they have a whole list of “not coffee” items clearly labeled on a large black chalkboard. My favorite part? It’s connected to one hip hostel and bar (Freehand Chicago) and of course succulents line the windows. A+ interior, A+ espresso.
Last up for my favorites of this week are these two Instagram posts I stumbled upon (and liked the heck out of) recently. If you haven’t heard of Epic Bar, they create one-of-a-kind protein bars that are a combination of dehydrated fruits, savory nuts and animal protein (ex: lamb, turkey and beef). At first I’m sure the idea of a protein bar made out of meat might seem a bit daunting to you but trust me, it’s like beef jerky but better. So so much better! Without all of the preservatives and junk. The turkey almond cranberry is my faaaave if you’re willing to try one!
Epic Bar’s brand as a whole always motivates me to become a stronger person physically and mentally, while maintaing a healthy lifestyle and “living epically”. When I saw this Instagram, I stared at it for a good five minutes until I finally screenshotted it. The caption stole my heart, too. Everything in our lives should be epic and we should be proud of every moment, no matter how small or trivial it seems. Why eat an ordinary breakfast or have an ordinary day when it all has the power to be extraordinary… and down right EPIC. Love!
As for the Instagram shot to follow, I noticed one of my fave health foodie’s Courtney Swan post this fun quote earlier tonight. I could not agree more sister! I won’t go on and on about my love for tacos because it can get a bit repetitive but seriously… my mind is on tacos all the time, as my body is just screaming for the gym.
Just kidding, it’s screaming for my bed. Even better.
Happy Friday! What are some of your favorites this week? Sweet, savory, empowering, epic? I want to hear!
Looking forward to a weekend full of eats, surprises, enjoying the hopefully sunny weather and giving you some exciting recipes! Stay tuned.
*I was not compensated for this post from any brands linked but was sent some of their individual products. All opinions are my own and these brands are products I truly stand by and love.*